Moto3: Martin takes fourth consecutive pole in Catalunya

Spaniard Jorge Martin secured his fourth-straight pole position in qualifying for Moto3 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

The Del Conca Gresini rider finished top of the standings ahead of Sunday's race clocking a lap record time of 1.53.368 in front of Arón Canet by over five tenths of second.

Juan Francisco Guevara will start from third, with Italian Romano Fenati breaking up the all-Spanish monopoly on the grid, pushing championship leader Joan Mir into fifth position.

Mir seeks to extend lead

Only a week on from Andrea Migno's sensational debut win at Mugello, championship leader Mir was seeking to extend his 34-point lead as the Moto3 riders headed to Catalonia.

With a modified track built in line to address safety concerns following the tragic death of Luis Salom almost a year ago at the same venue, there was more than a hint of the unpredictable in Barcelona ahead of qualifying.

Red-hot qualifying

On another sweltering day on the Iberian peninsular, riders were involved in a game of cat and mouse, waiting to see who would lay a marker down on the red hot tarmac, approaching 46 degrees.

With Arón Canet hunting down compatriot Mir in the standings, the teenager in the Estrella Galicia bike set the benchmark with a time of 1.53.995.

Jorge Martin lurked in second just 0.069 of second off Canet in the initial stages, before yet other home rider in Juan Francisco Guevara's RBA BOE overhauled the Spaniard for second spot, with ten minutes of the session remaining.

With the track temperature continuing to rise still, racers sat out most of the thirty-minute qualifying period, before a last final dash for pole standings.

Martin smashes lap record for pole

Canet was the man to catch in P1, but could anyone break up the four-way monopoly ahead of Sunday's race proper?

It was down to the final flying lap of what felt a rather truncated qualifying session. As the chequered flag waved, it was Martin who pipped Canet to pole coming home in 1.53.368, with Guevara knocked down into third.

Italian Romano Fenati in the Honda finished sandwiched between him and Mir in fifth, with the championship leader looking to get a flying start on race day come Sunday.

For Madrid man Jorge Martin, Sunday will be the perfect opportunity to catapult himself into title reckoning for the remainder of the season.